PowerPoint Broadens Its Horizons

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 by Simon Morton

As we may have previously mentioned in the Eyeful blog, we are keeping our antennae tuned to the Office 15 grapevine. Both our professional curiosity and our innate nosiness are doing overtime on this one and one of the more exciting titbits that we’ve picked up is the fact that widescreen will be the default aspect ratio setting for PowerPoint.

Goodbye 4:3, hello 16:9.

Widescreen is not a new thing.  Indeed, it was first used in ‘The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight’ documentary film in 1897 (that’s one for the history fact fans).

So what does all of this mean to presenters?

Widescreen is good news for your presentations content and design, giving increased ‘real estate’ on every slide.

It’s also good news in light of the fact that practically every laptop and PC screen has already adopted the format (hence the black bars down the side of your presentation when you view it on your PC). Hurrah indeed.

But, never ones to shirk our reputation for cynical inquisition, one question remains, why now? 115 years is a phenomenally long technological journey for something that has remained essentially the same.

And, at the risk of inciting the sort of pugilism that started it all, here’s a thought…. There is a particular, quite popular, device that has not embraced the widescreen format, you may have heard of it, it’s called the iPad. Which I think makes this round three of this blogger’s Apple v Microsoft saga!

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